Media Impact on Reputation

Media Impact on Reputation

Master Class Media Impact on Reputation
Master Class Media Impact on Reputation  
Play video

The media landscape has changed, and so have the vectors of reputation. Shifts in the political environment as well as new technologies are driving this evolution, and it will continue into the foreseeable future.

The implications for communications professionals are major. Their role is widening, and becoming far more strategic. Beyond shaping messages, they are obliged to monitor a growing number of actors who possess their own media outlets, and to devise effective channels of dialogue that lead to shared solutions. They must also contend with mainstream media who, after decades of lethargy and loss of market share, are becoming increasingly aggressive. Finally, they must deal with a “fake news” industry that respects neither the norms of journalistic discourse, nor minimal professional standards of veracity.

In this course we will take these new vectors of influence one by one, analyzing their roots and their effects, before setting out appropriate strategies. Instructors will include visitors with demonstrated expertise and deep knowledge of particular sectors covered in the course. Scholarly research, as well as insights embedded in journalistic coverage of current events, will provide a solid factual basis for our work together. Readings will include reports from think tanks and research centers, notably those focused on emergent media and fake news. Group work based on case studies will be a central feature. We expect participants to share their successes, as well as failures, in order to add to our collective knowledge of what works and doesn’t  work in this new era.

Communications professionals know very well that there are no perfect solutions to reputational threats. Yet recent events demonstrate clearly that dialogue based on transparency and verifiable information remains a valid method, and that key criteria of credibility that operated for decades preceding the current era remain valid. We can also affirm that the audience for truth is generally a more reliable and influential partner than the public for fake news. A fundamental question is how to engage the former and unmask the latter.

The expected outcomes of this course include a deep tool kit as well as principles that can guide communicators in their quest to protect and extend reputations, within and outside their organisations. A key assumption is that in our era, communication is a concern of the entire organisation. In other words, it is not enough that leaders be communicators; communicators must become leaders.